Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Maserati is all about the fours. Not only is it named Quattroporte - after its having that many doors - but it’s also shed its four-cam engine for one with fewer cams and, you guessed it, 440 cubic inches. Will you find however, that its price is worth forking over?
Let’s say you wanted to adopt a dog that, for whatever reason, had lost its tail. You wouldn't go to extreme measures to graft, say a spatula in its place, would you? That’s sort of what the builder of yesterday’s 13B-powered 1992 Porsche 968 did, and while I think we can all applaud the effort that went into it, pretty much everyone thought that adding Mazda to the mix was bad mojo. Not only that but 73% of you felt the same way about its price.
Long before Audi was naming their cars after the number of wheels the drivetrain could and would spin, Maserati was doing the same with the number of doors. In fact, the Quattroporte (four-door) name is the longest serving sobriquet in the Italian company’s repertoire.
Envisioned as a 4-door GT, the Quattroporte debuted in 1963 based off the Tipo 103 platform of the 5000 GT. Fast, luxurious, and exclusive, the original Quattroporte proved a worthy competitor to the likes of the Lagonda Rapide and Facel Vega Excellence.
By the time of the third generation - the less said about the Citroën-infused second the better - the Quattroporte had grown in proportion and in the process lost some of its lithe GT nature. Still, as evidenced by today’s candidate, it remains an imposing presence. It fact, I have a friend who used to own one and we dubbed it the Quattro-portly
The third-gen cars were built between 1979 and 1990 with little visual change defining the years. This one's seller doesn’t give its model year, although it carries the Quattroporte badge on the boot rather than “4Porte” so it’s likely a post-’82.
The engine in the Quattroporte is the company’s glorious DOHC V8, a mill that can trace its lineage back to the legendary 450S racer, and which also saw duty in the likes of the Ghibli, Bora, and Khamsin.
This car no longer rocks its original all-alloy 4.9 V8, but instead has a 440 Wedge wedged under its massive hood. The 440 was built from ’66 through ’78, and was the last of Chrysler’s big block RBs. Remarkably, while Maserati was able to coax 295 horses from the four-cam 4.9, in four barrel form like on this car, the 440 netted out at just a little over 300 ponies. A six pack would boost that to 330. Bolting in the massive Mopar mill probably wasn’t too much of a sweat as the Quattroporte already came with a TorqueFlite 727 three speed to begin with.
According to the ad, the 440 is low mileage, and while not explicitly stated, it appears that buying the car gets you the original Maser engine as well - you know, to make into a coffee table or something.
The other aspects of the car seem serviceable, the ItalDesign-penned body looking straight and the ornate alloys seemingly intact, although they are coated in douchie gold. The interior is described as being like new, and if you haven’t ever experienced one of the eighties Maser insides, it is something to behold.
Falling somewhere in between the stoic severity of German luxury and the tacky bordellos that the American companies were foisting on their top customers, the Quattroporte’s interior is a riot of buttery leather, burlwood trim, and tasteful accoutrements, all contrasting with seats so overstuffed you’d expect doe-eyed Steve to be singing Blue’s Clues in one of them.
An ‘80s Quattroporte may not be the most engaging car to drive, but it still possesses a presence and gravitas few other sedans can equal. The fact that this one sports a 440 is a nut scratcher as it probably won’t make much difference in the long term cost of maintaining the car - the quad coil-overs for the rear suspension can seriously set you back nearly four grand - but should it actually come with the Maser mill too, then perhaps having an engine understudy is a wise move.
With a car seemingly centered on the number four - 4 doors, 440, 4 shocks, etc - it’s somewhat disappointing not to have its price be likewise quartet-related. The seller is in fact is asking $15,000 for this magnificent beast, which is not even cleanly divisible by four. That’s enough to drive OCD types crazy.
Would it also be crazy to spend that much for this Mopar-powered Maserati? What do you think, is $15,000 too much for this Italian Four Door? Or, does that price make buying this Quattroporte a forgone conclusion?
H/T to Bigblockbear for the hookup!
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